Posts Tagged ‘JavaScript’

Saturday, March 3, 2012

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 Ah, Friday .. that was a rainy day, for sure!  I love rainy days!  Perfect for being lazy or busy or whatever.

What on earth did I do yesterday, anyway?  Well, I spent some time reading up on organic gardening, composting and that sort of thing.

Did some dreaded housework .. .the necessities, especially so when the cats outnumber the humans in the house!

Went outside for awhile … there was a light rain falling .. such a perfect time to wander around for awhile.  Enjoying the look of the rain spattered leaves of all the outdoor plants.  It would be great to have a tent set up outside … to use as a little refuge against the weather.  Pretend camping.

On days like Friday, during such a gentle rain, how fun it would be to set up a little tent with a  table (overturned Rubbermaid container) and a chair (one of the triangular shaped gardening stools).  Just relax, sip Yorkshire Tea, leaf through some gardening books.  Solve some Soduku puzzles.   Pretend to be on a safari or a campground or even Texada, by the airport!

Back inside the house, I found yet another pile of gardening books!  Plan to enter these on my excel spreadsheet … that thing is so very handy for references.  Good to know which books I have, so can avoid purchasing more duplicates .. something that I found out when I created this document! Discovered I had some duplicates .. not a big deal though, can leave one in the car and one on the shelves!

Anyway, Friday was the last day of the work week … a slide into the weekend.     And the end of the Monday to Friday Coronation Street shows.  Thank Goodness.

And … hallelujiah .. John is finally deceased .. end of that story line!   Now there are afew more to be got rid of .. .Kevin; Cheryl; Loyd; ad nauseum.

Anyway, Friday was a day!


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Thursday, January 26, 2011

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 I actually saw sunshine this morning!   I was typing away in the kitchen, using my sloooooow Toshiba laptop (my desktop computer is still shutting off and on) .. and suddenly, clear as a bell .. (where did that phrase originate anyway?) .. I saw the dust on my keyboard!  Another good reason for cloudy days .. these things just aren’t seen!

I briefly toyed with the idea of running outside to enjoy the warmth of the sun’s rays, but decided to soldier on with inside duties.   I plan to spend a few hours again going over the material presented at my first OMG class on Tuesday.

Thoughts kept running through my mind as I thought about the widespread insidious use of pesticides in food.   Things like .. were the sunflowers and seeds that I feed to the backyard birds .. were they affected?   The lettuce that I buy at the supermarket .. the apples .. the bananas .. the almonds .. were pesticides used in these foods?

Rodale’s Organic Gardening magazine, many years ago, discussed the use of banned pesticides being shipped to foreign countries.  Is that still happening?

Now that I’ve started becoming more aware of this aspect of gardening .. I appreciate even more hearing good news about gardening.  The organic kind.  And I applaud all those people who work hard to produce foods that are grown in healthy soil, without the use of artificial products of any kind.

I laud allotment gardens, neighbourhood gardens, boulevard gardens.  All of these are steps towards educating people towards the good use of the earth.  Little pockets of green ….raising awareness.  Me included.

I’ve taken just one class in this course and already my horizons have expanded tremendously.  My awareness is heightened.   And I am so incredibly energized.

When we were kids, we were fortunate to visit relatives who farmed and raised beef cattle.   I remember the stack of farming articles that were piled on tables at our aunt & uncle’s dining table.  I used to leaf through them and try to read the articles.  At the time, the words seemed rather dry and stale.  And my uncle would smile when he noticed my interest in them.  I really made an effort to derive some understanding from the articles, but I just couldn’t.

And so this somehow became my understanding of the world of horticulture when I was young.   Dry, scholarly reports and talks on food.

It was only many years later, when DH & I purchased our first home and we had a yard, that I started to feel the draw of the earth and the joy of growing things.   Our first garden was hilarious, when I look back!  We’d encourage a long row of what turned out to be weeds!  I thought the plants looked rather pretty and kept watering them.   When I showed one to a neighbour, she promptly explained that it was a weed!  So … pulled them all up.

We’d tried growing potatoes … but I’d dug them up too soon and they were green!  Then there were the really long rows of carrots and other vegetables …. too many, growing in soil that wasn’t much more than clay.

Then came the years of adding kelp, seaweed, fish heads .. oh, that was a story.  I’d gone to a fishery place close to town and collected a large pail of fish heads, as I’d begun reading Organic Gardening magazines and was learning how to replenish the soil, and fish heads were one of the suggestions.

So I lugged the covered pail home .. it was raining .. so I placed the pail in the basement for “a few minutes”.  Well, weeks later, DH was sorting out the basement, saw the pail (guess I’d forgotten to tell him about that) .. he was curious, so took off the lid.  And promptly stepped back, gagging at the horrific stench.

Uh oh.

So I was prompted to quickly “get that stinky suff” out of the house!   Oopsie.   I grabbed the pail and a shovel and outside I went to the garden.

First I dug a trench and then, when I removed the lid and poured the decomposing fish heads into that .. I was suddenly surrounded by a number of screeching seagulls that had quickly appeared overhead.

Those birds were quickly attracted to the smell!   I hurriedly covered the fish with a thick layer of earth .. then filled the pail with soapy water, to try and remove the odoriferous scent.

Now and again, we’ll laugh about that .. but at the time I was highly embarrassed.

Anyway, flash forward to the present years .. and my gardening skills have improved tremendously.  And I’m so excited to be expanding my horizons with the colourful, informative, organic worlds of gardening that I’m entering.

Well .. .time to stop tapping these keys and get going with this most lovely of days.

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Wednesday, January 25, 2011

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Well … I have the first class of the organic master garden course under my belt .. but not totally in my mind yet.  Last night I learned that I was not as knowledgeable about gardening as I’d previously thought.

I’d travelled with the rest of the moving parking lot that is the Colwood Crawl at 5:30 (I wanted to be early to class) .. an accident had just happened at the 6 Mile Pub and I was fortunate enough to have missed that one.

Funny how last night, the first night of the class (because snow had cancelled the classes for last week) .. was dark and rainy .. exactly the same weather that I drove through for the Information session on the course, a mere 2 weeks ago.  Not being a great night driver, especially on such a dark and rainy night .. I wasn’t going to let the weather deter me from the class.  Except for the snow, but thank goodness that Royal Roads had cancelled them.

I had brought with me 3 treasures of garden books … A-Z latin names and a few others .. along with my binder and my water bottle.   Imagine my surprise when I parked my car, grabbed my bag from the passenger seat and saw that the seat was soaked!  What the hey ….. had a window been open?  I quickly reached into my bag and, oh boy, the stopper (which I swore was tightly closed) had become loose and there was water everywhere.

Luckily, there wasn’t much damage done and I paper blotted the moisture and finally took the books to a hand dryer and let the warm air evaporate the balance of the pages.  Now I have delicately rippled pages and I’ll try to iron them flat.


For the next 3 hours and 20 minutes …. the doors to new worlds opened to me and I gladly ventured forth.  We learned about the secret inner workings of plants, what makes them tick, how they work and all sorts of intimate details.

Over the years, I’d read about the damages that pesticides cause .. to the soil, the environment, animals, birds, insects, people.  But nothing prepared me for the in depth explanations that were spelled out last night.   And again, I was aware that there are big companies making big money out of chemicals, ensuring that “problems” were eradicated so that maximum growth would ensure huge fail-safe crops.

In the past I’d read articles of how chemicals killed the soil and how some farmers were taking care to bring back a natural balance to the soil, introducing a variety of insects, encouraging weeds to grow.

But, I’d never been aware before last night how far reaching the money and power people can cause laws to change, in a snap of the fingers, to allow GM products.   There was a sombre mood in the class as we each felt the significance of  pesticides on farmland and gardens.

Among the positive things, our instructor talked about permaculture  and here’s a site that explains it:  http://permacultureprinciples.com/ and there are many more.

In this course we will be learning so very much information and I am so fired up with all that I learned last night.  A terrific benefit of this course is that, as a student, we are able to logon to Gaia College, access their library and also connect to gardening forums.  I’ve visited one this morning and I’m in heaven.

Anyway, I have so very much work to do, to view again the videos and slideshows that were presented last night, make copious notes, read, read, read.    To go over and over the information that was given.  Read a chapter of our course book.  Read, read and read some more.

The College uses Firefox as the web browser for the online information.  I’ve downloaded it …. totally agree with what this program is all about!  My life is speeding ahead in a new stage of growth and I’m so very very energized!

Anyway, time to start studying and making notes.

I am enjoying this learning curve tremendously!


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Wednesday, January 11, 2011

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Tuesday was kind of slow going .. lots to do and where to start, was how I began the day.

Spent more time entering details of my gardening books into my excel … again, searching the web for unknown publishers … happy to see that many have continued to this day.

Looking at the little paper pockets at the front of some of the books that I’d purchased at the “Friends of the Library” book sales … remembering how the Gayley Bros., of Syracuse, NY began the use of these, using seed packets for this purpose.  They were clever that is for sure.

Thought about going for a walk at Swan Lake .. but then went outside for just a “minute”.

Hmmmm …. the sun was shining …. so I decided to do a bit of yard work.  And this was a good opportunity to use my newest gardening glove acquisitions.  I chose a pair of glove liners & the yellow waterproof outer gloves .. items purchased from our local Home Hardware on Burnside.

These outer gloves are perfect for gardening especially when working near stinging insects .. aka .. hornets!  And .. .a reminder to me to try out that penny & water hornet deterrent this spring.  Just a few more months and then it will again be time to look out for these critters.

My s/i/law had told me of a waterfront restaurant they had visited … nary a hornet in sight.  The owner had rigged up clear plastic bags, filled with water, placed a penny in each bag .. and somehow, they deterred these mighty insects.

I have the bags, the water and the pennies .. so I’m all set for them.

Anyway, yesterday, I finally clipped the branches from our Christmas tree and placed them beneath our “first” Christmas tree .. in hopes of dissuading cats from using this mulched area as their private litter box.

The tree trunk will be used for some gardening project .. so I dragged that to the back yard.  As I was in the process of doing that … I reminded myself to look up at the sky.   Perhaps I’d see a bird.

So I did just that and then I saw the hawks!  One was sitting atop a tall fir-tree in the next block … and a second was sitting about 100 yards away, on another tree.  I was just trying to focus my camera on the first one .. when they both flew off, flying towards an unsuspecting target.

Aha … a parent is teaching the young one how to hunt, I think.

Shortly afterwards, I saw them soaring overhead …. the mature one had a few ragged feathers … this time there were some crows chasing the hawk.  The hawk, of course, was majestically regal … calmly ignoring the frantic movements of the crows.   Very impressive.  Eventually there was only one crow .. who seemed as if he was flying away, but he was merely changing the angle of his flight and made a series of close passes in front of the hawk.  Eventually the crow admitted defeat by flying away.

Sometime during the afternoon, the crows began their daily migration towards some neighbouring oak trees.   Last summer I’d noticed that they started flying overhead about 5 pm … so they are flying earlier during the winter.    They eventually all roost on a little island near Oak Bay for the night.


Decided it was time to work at the mulch pile .. so I started digging in … moving the leaves from point A to point B.

Darned if I didn’t look up at the sky again!  And now what did I see .. as I ran to collect my camera and shed my gloves.

This time, there were two Bald Eagles flying in graceful circles overhead.  Entranced … that’s what I was .. totally entranced and enthralled by this beauty …seen from our back yard.   I started walking slowly backwards, binoculars following their every movement.   So beautiful.    As they flew farther down the road .. .I ran to the front yard to continue looking at them.

Bumped into a young neighbour who was walking his most lovely little dog, who was recuperating from a doggy cold!    And so we talked about doggy health .. and about the eagles.    Then the eagles had flown farther away than I could see .. so I returned to the back yard.

And I reminisced over the many conversations I’d had  with neighbours, over many years .. as I worked away at the front yard.  Guess I’ve been so busy with the back yard that I haven’t kept in touch.

There used to be a genteel pair of sisters I used to chat with, they had lived in a tiny little house up the street .. then there was a couple who had travelled the world over .. a number of times … she’d bought her hubby a little dog, to help him with his fading memory.. how sad.  She used to race around the neighbourhood in her motorized wheelchair.  Quite an interesting lady she was.

Anyway, I’d met a lot of people and had interesting conversations.  Especially last summer, when I devoted a week to sifting gravel in our front parking area.  Now that was meditative work if there ever was any!

Decided that it was time for tea .. so inside I went, kettle on and soon had a lovely mug of Yorkshire Tea!   Went back to work on listing my gardening books .. but .. hey, the sun was shining and the outdoors beckoned me forth.

Good decision … shoveled some more leaves at the mulch pile .. continuously looking up at the sky for more aerial demonstrations.  Sigh.  Activity ceased for now.  Although now I only rarely  see the young Cooper’s Hawk in the wild and crazy tree.  Now I know that he visits other nearby tall trees.  And when the yard is empty of birds .. then I know that is where he is.

The two hours that I’d spent outside really seemed like 4 or 5 hours.   The total concept of time had disappeared and there only existed a feeling of “now” amidst the wonderment and joy of seeing the beautiful wild life up above me in the sky.

eagles .. hawks … crows. …. seagulls … hummingbirds  .. flying overhead in my own back yard … I didn’t feel so bad, not having visited dear ole Swan Lake.

I question myself sometimes .. do I like gardening because it affords me the opportunity to bird watch .. or do I bird watch in order to be outside gardening?  It’s like a chicken and the egg thing … I guess.

And today .. more of the same!


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Friday, January 6, 2012

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Heavy rains yesterday … combined with the Cooper’s hawk‘s presence in the wild and crazy tree .. resulted in another day without the birds in the backyard.

I’ve become so used to see them, enjoying all their antics .. and the absence of their presence in the yard is quite a blow.

The hawks nest in the vicinity and although I’ve seen one or two passing through the yard .. I’ve not seen one hang around quite so much.

So towards late afternoon yesterday I was quite pleased to see the return of the little guys .. the Dark Eyed Juncos, the Nuthatches, the Chickadees, the Thrush.

They needed to feed quickly as night was falling, so instead of going outside and upsetting them .. I took photos of them through the rain spattered window .. and they came out well!

I’m slowly making progress, entering the hundreds of garden books into an excel sheet .. and along the way, reading through these books .. gleaning the treasured gardening information that they contain.

I start my Organic Master Gardening Course next week .. quite looking forward to this.  And then there are four other components, which I will take, and these all lead up to a diploma in organic land care .. it will take a couple of years but that is something to work towards.

These “wintry” days are good for us .. a time to slow down.  Relax.  Cocoon.  I know that these chilly days will soon pass, summer will be here and again .. there will be those long long days with many hours of activity .. so I’m taking the opportunity to relax now.  Time to do those “indoor” activities now so I can ignore them once the warm weather arrives.

And I do have so many plans.

For now though .. it’s back to entering all those books and enjoying the time to look through them.

Here is a quote that was attached to a recent e-mail .. I found it to be quite uplifting and want to share this: 

“Each progressive spirit is opposed by a thousand mediocre minds appointed to guard the past.” 

Maurice Maeterlinck

Ok, I found this quote to be quite intriguing, so, of course, I had to look for more information on this person .. and here is a link, complete with a photograph:   http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/literature/laureates/1911/maeterlinck-bio.html   From Nobel Lectures, Literature 1901-1967, Editor Horst Frenz, Elsevier Publishing Company, Amsterdam, 1969

He was born in Belgium.  Looking at his photograph, I see such thoughtful, dreamy eyes .. quite a handsome guy .. and very philosophical.

I find it interesting to see that he meandered to the bees, gardens, mystical things and all those wonderful creative elements of the universe. 

More positivity … sigh


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Sunday, December 18, 2011

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 Saturday .. started out cloudy and morphed into a warm, sunny day!  Decided to stay away from the stores .. they would be way too busy!

Spent some time, where else, in the back yard!  Walked around, checking the healthy growth of the hardy perennials … all thriving and well settled in.  Looking forward to seeing their height improving over the summer.  More green …. I just love seeing the yard surrounded by vegetation, and gradually, seeing less and less of buildings!

Although our yard is nice and private, I love the feel of being in the great outdoors, surrounded by tall trees and luxuriant plant growth.   The soil is quite decadently luxurious, due to the leaf mulch, bales of hay and composted manure that I’ve been busy mixing into the soil over the years.  Plus the amazing Miracle Mulch.

I decided to make a makeshift top for one of the suet holders.  Saw this idea in a store, there was a sort of roof, with a flat board surface, underneath which was attached a suet holder. The object of this was for dissuading bigger birds from hogging all the food.  So I attached a small section of plastic board to the top of the feeder and hung it from a branch.  The sparrows are puzzled and are unable to feed from this feeder.  However, the Downy woodpecker and Red-breasted Nuthatch have not problem.

I’ve just looked at a bird site which recommends not hanging feeders from trees or branches .. oh oh .. I’ll have to rig up a feeder.  And I want to look into getting a large plant saucer attached to the feeders so that the seeds don’t fall onto the ground.  Fewer birds to scavage seeds on the ground, safe from cats.

Am hoping to rig up something with the excess of aluminum tubing that we have. I’ll post pics.

So finally, went inside and saw a large bird in the trees.  DH & I were trying to guess which type it was, as the sun was shining and all we could see was a silhouette.   It flew onto the tiny bird feeder and then I could see that it was a Flicker!  Too far to take a photo, darn, but I could see the dark band below the throat.

Looking through my bird books, I then realized that what I thought was a European Starling .. was actually a Flicker.  Of course!  Beautiful varied feathers, soft, cooing songs … very beautiful birds.

And, I continued to search and query on e-Bay for another HP iPAQ rz1700!  Not really wanting to purchase another one, I felt sad that the one that DH had given me years ago had ceased to work.  No joy in the stores .. I don’t think that it is being made any more.  It’s such a solid, simple electronic gizmo.  A workhorse.  One that doesn’t need monthly payments to keep it going.

So, what the heck, I thought, I’ll try to see if I can get it working again.  Did the cold and hard boots… nothing.  Finally, I decided to plug it into the tower.  Eureka!  The screen is flashing!  It’s responding to the touch of the stylus .. I run it through all the setup steps .. and once again I have my little iPAQ back!  Running perfectly well.  🙂  🙂  🙂  🙂  A little Christmas miracle in my world.

I feel such a sense of relief!  I just don’t like this age of disposable items.  Buy something for a relatively high price, just to see the devaluation in a year.  Recycle.  I fully appreciate purchasing items which will keep their value, and they needn’t be expensive for this.

The same thing happened with one of my little cameras.  Once day it ceased to work.  The dial that changed photo options ceased to move and I couldn’t make the “click” button actually “click.  I checked out the cost of repair, ahem, and quietly put the camera aside on a shelf.  A year later, just for the heck of it, I played with the camera, and .. oh and behold, the dial works, so I rotate it, seeing the menus show up for each type of photo shot.  The “click” button works again.

Hmmm… gremlins?  Makes you wonder.  Very glad that these items are again workable and very glad that I didn’t rush out to recycle them.  It came very close though!  sigh of relief.

Later on .. we went out, driving throughout Saanich and Oak Bay, enjoying the sights of Christmas lights.  Such a lovely warm feeling of gratitude for those who took the effort and the time to beautify their homes and yards .. to share with all who pass by.

From “Botany for Gardeners“:

“As we delve into the science of botany, we shall largely be concerned with the two groups of plants with which we, as gardeners, most often work.  One, known as the flowering plants, or Angiosperms, is the largest group in the Plant Kingdom and consists of about 250,000 species.  The name “Angiosperm” refers to the fact that seeds from these plants are formed inside containers that we call fruits (Greek: angeion, vessel; sperma, seed).  The flowering plants most often decorate our homes and landscapes, supply almost all of the vegetable matter in our diets, and are the source of the world’s hardwoods.  they are the most sophisticated of plant forms and are best adapted to survive in a wide range of climates and places.

Second are the Gymnosperms, plants that produce seeds in the open spaces of cones – between the flaplike parts that make up a pine cone, for example.  The Greek words gymnos, “naked” and sperma, “seed”  describes this form of development.  On the evolutionary scale, Gymnosperms are more primitive than Angiosperms bt are of considerable economic importance as well as interest to landscapers for their compact forms and richly coloured, needle-shaped or scale like leaves.  Softwoods such as pine and fir are not only used to make paper, lumber, plywood, etc., but are the source of a group of products called naval stones – pitch, turpentine and rosin.

The Gymnosperms include all the conifers: cedar, redwood, juniper, cypress, fir and pine, and the largest living things on earth, the giant Sequoia’s.  Many ornamental shrubs, including varieties of Chamaecyparis (False Cypress) and Thuja accidentalis (American Arborvitae) are members of this group and, least typical of Gymnosperms, Cycads and the beautiful Maidenhair tree, Ginkgo biloba, a broad-leaved species.

For comparative purposes, passing mention is made of ferns, mosses, mushrooms and other primitive plants, but it is to the flowering plants and Gymnosperms that we direct our attention since it is they that give us the most revealing picture of how marvellous plants are.”

How fascinating is this!  I love learning more about gardening.

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Monday, December 12, 2011

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Weather-wise, this has been a great weekend.  Lots of sun.  Lots of birds.

Happy to see the Varied Thrush up in the plum-tree, munching away on an apple. I was close enough to see his red eyes .. but not close enough to take a clear picture.  Still, very happy to see this lovely bird.  I’ll try today to take some pics.

There was a darling wren flitting about, easily recognizable by  the up-swept tail.  I’ve seen this bird often, at the edge of the yard, mostly on the fence .. today I tried to follow its flight path by the sundeck, but it was too fast for me.

Spent some time on Saturday and Sunday, wandering about the yard, filling the bird-feeders .. enjoying the sight of the many birds munching away.  Saw a few scuffles between some of the sparrows, tsk tsk .. can we not get along, little guys?

As I watch the birds interact, I realize that I’m gazing into their world, without fully understanding the code of ethics that surely must exist among them.  As far as I can see, the various species (in our yard, anyway) allow for intermingling.  There is no direct conflict.   They willingly share the feeders among themselves.

I see that they can be happily pecking away at the seeds that have fallen on the ground, and suddenly, as one, they all fly up into the trees.  Except for the stray Junco who just stays in place, pecking away.

The European Starling visits the yard occasionally and I really like listening to his soft, gentle calling sounds that include some rhythmic sort of clucking noises.   Quite an interesting series of calls …. and I wonder if he (she) is calling out to another bird, or is just in a talkative state of mind.

And I’m so in awe of the nature of birds, how the parents pass on their instinctive knowledge of survival to their young.  Quite mystical, really.  No schools or degrees for these aerial specialists.  No one to impress.  Just survival.

I love my time in the yard, observing these beautiful birds and slowly, slowly, I’m noticing how the method of flight varies between the different species.   and I can also find out these details in my bird books.    I’m so glad that we planted all the trees in our yard, now they are of a mature height, providing lots of privacy for the birds to flee to.

Couldn’t spend a lot of time out in the yard though .. we were preparing for our annual Christmas get-together with friends and there were still final preparations to do.

DH & I worked as a team, making our home festive and welcoming for our friends!  We look forward to this yearly event and really enjoy this last-minute frenzy.  It’s a bit like the night before Christmas, really.  The excitement of the final preparations.

Soon our friends started to arrive and, as usual, everyone heads to the kitchen first, the heart of the home.    Next house will have a much larger kitchen!

The evening passes way too quickly, as we catch up on the latest goings on with everyone.   Soon the kitchen, hallway, study and living room .. are full of people talking and laughing.  Happy to meet the spouses and good friends of people that I know.  Lovely, lovely people!  And I look forward to seeing them again.

DH & I just love having our friends over to visit us in our happy home and the time just flew by.   I feel like the funny green character that always cries, at the end of the Festival of Laughs … “wah .. .it’s over….”

But, we’re left with lots of happy memories of another evening full of great conversations,  sincere hugs, introductions and just plain good fun.

Sigh!  Then .. back to reality yesterday.  A wonderful morning surprise!  Dear, lovely DH had arisen early and cleared away the kitchen.  What a guy!

Some friends had stayed over so we had a relaxing start to the day, coffee, tea .. then everyone on their way!

We went to Dakota’s for breakfast, lovely morning to sit by the window and gaze at the sunny world outside.  I notice some students doing their pre-flight inspections, prior to their flying lessons.  That was me, during the my busy, busy summer time just past.

Back home, and outside just to have a look at what’s going on in the yard.  Lots of happy birds.  Tantalizing view of the Varied Thrush!   The Juncos, a Robin, lots of sparrows.   Still looking at the remaining yard of mulch that needs to be spread about.  The warmth of the sun felt so soothing .. and part of me wanted to be outside playing and part of me wanted to be inside with DH, relaxing after our fun party of the night before.

So that part of me won out and inside I went.   Pot of tea, and then set to work, finishing my first ever circular scarf.  Photo tomorrow.   The trials and tribulations that went on in the creation of this scarf .. which I took apart at least 10 times!  Changed design and finally worked on 25 stitches (which varied in number as I dropped and added stitches along the way!)

But, really, I was proud of the fact that I accomplished this scarf!  It looks pretty and works well as a cozy, colourful double wraparound!   And I’ve started another one, this time with just one strand of multicoloured wool and knit a row, purl a row.  Keeping it simple.  And I’ve only had to take it apart once, thus far.

And I’ve decided to take a Master Gardening Course!  There will be lots to learn, and new people to meet.  So I’ve selected two books from my little library to read, cover to cover and make notes!  One is “Botany for Gardeners” (an introduction and guide) by Brian Capon and the other is the “A -Z of Plant Names” by Allen J. Coombes.

I am going to revert back to a habit that I started .. when I first started to blog.  I used to list terms and definitions of plants, as this was good for me to learn and retain new information.  This habit also encouraged me to delve into my gardening books, searching for new information.  So I’ll begin again, with some interesting information from the Botany for Gardeners book.  Something that struck a chord for me in my passion for gardening and bird watching:

“Earth has been called the Green Planet; in the vast reaches of the solar system, perhaps the universe, it is a solitary world uniquely clothed in a mantle of vegetation.  And because of its plants, other forms of life are able to inhabit this place.  From simple beginnings, plants evolved first among earth’s living things, thus setting a priority that still abides.  Plants, in one form or another, can exist forever without animals, but animals cannot exist without plants.

Plants purify the air, they exchange the oxygen that we breathe with carbon dioxide, a poisonous gas in too high a concentration.  Plants convert the energy of sunlight into foods that sustain all animals and, from the soil, draw minerals – nitrogen, potassium, calcium, iron – that are essential for our growth and continued health.  For creatures large and small, plants provide shade from the sun, refuge from predators and protection from the most destructive aspects of earth’s climate.”

This resonates with me.

And some tidbits from A – Z:

“The aim of this books is to provide a guide to the derivation, meaning and pronunciation of the scientific names of the more commonly grown plants.  The term scientific name is preferable here to Latin name, as many names derive from languages other than Latin, for example many derive from Greek or personal names.  Whatever their origin, all names are treated as Latin.  Generic names are treated as nouns and, as in Latin, have a gender (ie masculine, feminine or neuter).  Names of species and varieties are adjectival and their endings follow the rule of Latin grammar, eg, the latin word for white can be rendered as alba (feminine) or album (neuter) depending on the gender of the generic name.
The use of Latin for plant names can certainly be confusing when first encountered, producing many words of unfamiliar form and uncertain pronunciation.  It should be remembered, however, that when a scientific attitude was first taken towards the naming of plants in the 16th & 17th centuries, Latin was a common language among the intellectuals of Europe and it was second nature for many to use it.  Today, although Latin has evolved from the Latin used in classical and medieval times to meet the needs of botany, it forms a method of communication between botanists of all nationalities.
Further …. “Unlike the use of scientific names, their pronunciation is not governed by rules.  The majority of people who use scientific names treat them as if they are in their own language.  Where pronunciation is ambiguous by this method, it is common to encounter several ways of saying a word.”
Ouch .. can you spell headache?

These very wordy explanations do appear to be very dry and I’ll be rewording them for my own personal notes.  Over the years I’ve noticed that those who are most proficient in their crafts are  succinct in their explanations.  These are the teachers that I gravitate to.

So, on with this lovely sunny day.   Outside and hither and thither (I think that’s a word?)]


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